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Nemours Children's Hospital in Lake Nona has received accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and will launch its first Pediatric Residency Program next summer. The Pediatric Residency Program leadership will begin recruiting residents this fall with the inaugural class beginning in July 2019.
"We opened the doors to Nemours Children's Hospital five and a half years ago with a distinct vision to create something new for Central Florida," said Dana Bledsoe, president of Nemours Children’s Hospital. "Our mission was to build a world-class pediatric academic medical center, and this training program is an essential piece that will benefit families struggling to access care."
Nemours Children's Hospital has institutional accreditation and is sponsoring the program with the support of Nemours Children's Health System. Florida ranks near the bottom in sponsoring GME residents and fellows, per capita (41 out of 50). Starting a pediatric residency program and subsequently building fellowship programs in a freestanding pediatric hospital, is a unique opportunity to make a difference.
"At Nemours, we have a rapidly growing population of children with medical complexity and those with high acuity needs," said Dr. Amber Hoffman, program director for Nemours Children's Hospital Pediatric Residency Program. "This, paired with an expert faculty that has assembled from across the country is a combination that provides a perfect training ground to teach pediatric residents and subspecialists evidence-based, cutting edge medicine."
The new residency program will help relieve the statewide physician shortage crisis. The state anticipates an increase of children and a shortage of 7,000 medical specialists by the year 2025. The risk is that medical situations for sick children can become acutely worse with a delay in care, or lack of specialty expertise. In years to come, Nemours specialists will build a pipeline of high-level pediatric specialty care physicians in central Florida. Families will have more access to specialty care and won’t be forced to travel out of the region in search of care.
"Academic medicine is defined by a threefold mission. As a faculty physician you are expected to be an excellent clinician championing quality and safe care, a researcher to advance the field, and a medical educator to ensure high caliber training," said Dr. Heather Fagan, vice chair of education at Nemours' Department of Pediatrics. "Our doctors have been recruited from academic medical centers across the country, and are ready to help families in Florida by training the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists."